PVP Questionnaire: What It Is and How It Is Used To Detect Video Game Addiction

During the last years, the consumption of digital entertainment, especially video games, has become quite popular which has come to break down generational barriers.

Candy Crash, Fortnite, Pokémon Go, World of Warcraft are just one of the few video game titles that have a large number of children, teenagers and adults fans, who spend several hours a day.

Enjoying this type of entertainment is good and age should not be a barrier to enjoying this hobby. But everything should be done in moderation, otherwise problems may arise. Today, a large percentage of the population, especially among adolescents, is considered to play video games in an addictive manner, which poses challenges in the areas of study, work, family and social relations. .

This is nothing new. Decades ago, the possibility of addictive behavior towards new technologies was raised. This is why, in the early 2000s, one of the first tools to measure the severity of this type of problem was developed: the PVP questionnaire.

We will explain what this questionnaire consists of, what were the HISTORICS that led to its development, as well as some research that used it and some of its remarkable psychometric properties.

    What is the PVP questionnaire?

    The PVP Questionnaire, the English name for Problem Video Game Questionnaire, is the first psychological instrument designed to assess problems related to video game abuse. This questionnaire can include any type of video game from any type of console, whether portable (game boy), desktop (PlayStation) or arcade (slot machines).

    This tool was made known in the magazine Addiction in 2002, being its authors the psychology professors Ricardo A. Tejeiro Salguero, from the University of Liverpool and Rosa M. Beer Sheva Morán, from the University of Malaga.

    The PVP questionnaire began by revising several of the DSM-IV criteria for addiction and problem gambling disorders. In the early 2000s, he still had a fairly limited view of what was meant by gambling addiction. Even though problems that could lead to the abuse of video games were already suspected, pathological gambling was still considered to be. something exclusive to casinos and slots.

    This is why the application of instruments such as the PVP questionnaire and others that were developed later are adequate to know, quantitatively, the seriousness of the problem with video games, but without the need for a specific diagnosis.

    However, with the increasing use of video games among young people, researchers and the APA and WHO themselves have considered the need to include the abuse of this type of entertainment in addictions. It should be noted that to this day there is still controversy over whether the problems associated with new technologies, video games and the Internet should be considered addictions in and of themselves and put them in the same category as alcoholism and abuse of other substances. .

    In fact, while the WHO has included in ICD-11 a disorder linked to this type of addiction (gambling disorder), the APA did not consider it appropriate to include something similar in the development of DSM-5 given that there was insufficient evidence to form the diagnostic label for Internet gambling disorder.


    Psychologists Ricardo A. Tejeiro Salguero and Rosa M. Beer Sheva Morán found in the early 2000s that relatively little research had been done in the area of ​​pathological behaviors associated with video game abuse.

    While it was already starting to be stressed that the abuse of new technologies could lead to situations of dependence, accompanied by antisocial behavior and the loss of large sums of money, At the time, most of the research was limited to seeing how many hours people spent on this type of entertainment..

    At the time, it was not known at all what proportion of adolescents could be considered “addicted” to this type of recreation. Studies like those by Brooks in 1983 emphasized that they must be a minority, while others, like Egli and Meyers in 1984, asserted that in the population one could expect percentages between 10 and 15. % of video game addicts.

    Given the lack of diagnostic criteria for this type of behavior and the lack of adequate tools to measure them, Tejeiro Salguero and Beer Sheva Morán proceeded to the preparation of the PVP questionnaire based on the criteria of the fourth edition of the DSM and several studies from the 1980s and 1990s that laid the groundwork for a tentative measure of this type of problem.


      Given the importance that the PVP questionnaire acquired after its publication in the journal Addiction in 2003, this tool has been used in multiple subsequent research. The questionnaire is considered a benchmark for measuring video game abuseLike the Beck Inventory for Depression or the WAIS Test for Intelligence. It should be noted that it was used both in the original version and with minor modifications, either for reasons of language or cultural differences.

      To date, there are over thirty published studies in which this questionnaire has been used, taking samples from several countries: Spain, France, Iceland, United States, Canada, Chile, Australia, Thailand, Brazil, Peru and United Kingdom. United, among many more.

      Psychometric properties

      A recent systematic review of questionnaires related to addictions to new technologies, in particular that conducted by the group of Daniel L. King and company in 2013, concluded that the PVP questionnaire is the best tool to combat addictions associated with abuse. video games. of internet addiction.

      In 2002, when Tejeiro Salguero and Beer Sheva Morán conducted the validation study, they administered this questionnaire to approximately 223 adolescents from the cities of the capital Granada and the Concepción line. During the factor analysis, it was concluded that this is a one-dimensional test.

      Internal consistency was acceptable despite a limited number of elements, Obtaining a Crombach’s alpha coefficient of 0.67. Under these conditions, any adaptation that could be made to this questionnaire must be made with great care, especially if its amount is reduced, because it would lose its internal consistency.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Brooks, BD (1983) [Untitled]. In: Baugham, SS and Clagett, PD, eds. Video Games and Human Development: A Research Agenda for the 1980s. Cambridge, MA: Gutman Library
      • Egli, EA and Meyers, LS (1984) The Role of Video Games in the Lives of Adolescents: Is There Any Reason for Concern? Bulletin of the Psychological Society, 22, 309-312.
      • Elliott, L. Golub, A. Ream, G., and Dunlap, E. (2011) Video game genre as a predictor of problematic use. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 15 (3), 155-161.
      • Hart GM, Johnson B., Stamm B., Angers N., Robinson A., Lally T., Fagley WH (2009) Effects of video games on adolescents and adults. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking 12 (1): 63-65.
      • King, DL, Haagsma, MC, Delfabbro, PH, Gradisar, M. and Griffiths, MD (2013). Towards a consensual definition of pathological video games: a systematic review of psychometric assessment tools. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 33 (3), 331-342.
      • Lewis ML, Weber R., Bowman ND (2008) They may be pixels, but they are MY pixels. -518
      • Ream, GL, Elliott, LC & Dunlap, E. (2011) Playing Video Games While Using or Feeling the Effects of Substances: Associations with Substance Use Problems. 8 (10), 3979-3998.
      • Tejeiro-Salguero and Bersabé-Moran (2002). Measurement of video game problems in adolescents. Addiction, 97, 1601-1606.
      • Tolchinsky, Ay Jefferson, SD (2011) Problematic video game in a college sample and its relationship to time management skills and attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder.

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